Most people have been in a situation where, in making a choice, something was given or merited attention over competing alternatives, and whether it is called favoritism or priorities, the object that someone devotes more time, energy, and resources to defines what they believe is most important. When one looks at a nation’s budget, and where they dedicate their resources, it would not take long to get a clear picture of where their priorities lay. As Washington debates how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Republicans prioritized Americans’ retirement and healthcare accounts as the only areas to cut spending, and it rivals tax cuts for the wealthy as their primary area of concern. However, there is one area of government spending that has not come under fire from the Republicans honed in on spending cuts, and it should be the highest priority in any fiscal cliff negotiations to find an equitable deficit reduction deal.
Republicans are having difficulty coming up with legitimate areas to cut spending, because Social Security and Medicare, their favorite programs to defund, do not add to the nation’s deficit. In fact, conservative pundit David Frum wrote that Republicans are struggling to find areas to cut spending because with spending at its lowest level in decades, there are few areas worthy of attention that have not already been cut to the bone. What Frum failed to address is defense spending, and for many Republicans, the automatic cuts in the sequestration bill are one reason there is a sense of urgency to avoid the fiscal cliff even if Washington is not talking about them.
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